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Chicken with bones - close but no cigar

I had a bunch of chicken parts - legs, thighs, breasts to cook up for dinner tonight.  Before I got my BGE, I always did them on a Weber charcoal, indirect with a drip pan, and apple for smoke.  I decided to follow the method I see in posts here and did them raised grate direct.  Built a good fire with Apple chunks for smoke, stabilized the temp at 375, and cooked the chicken for about 50 minutes.  I read 160 or better on the thermometer anywhere I checked.
I was not totally pleased with the results!

First of all, I did not get the level of browning I expect when I "smoke grill" chicken, and the skin was not as crisp.  Secondly, there was a bit of an off taste, I identified it as the greasy smoke resulting from chicken drippings on the live coals. Third, there were definitely hot spots as there was uneven browning or char on the bottom of the pieces.  The Chicken was good, but not as good as I expected.

This seems to run counter to the success I read of here with direct raised grate cooks for chicken.   For my next chicken cook, I plan to go indirect with a drip pan.

Has anyone had similar issues?
XLBGE, Small BGE, Homebrew and Guitars
Rochester, NY

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